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University of California-Santa Cruz

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The best thing about UCSC is the laid back attitude of most of the people. The campus itself is one the most beautiful places I have ever stayed and I feel lucky to live on such a nice looking campus. the school is also pretty accepting of alternative lifestyles. you might meet people who aren't down with that but most people are totally chill about it. People aren't in such competition for good grades like they are other schools. If you go to class, study and not fall asleep, classes are generally easy to pass. The town is small, which can get a little boring sometimes but it's big enough that if you need to get somewhere it's not too complicated. Public transportation isn't too bad. Most of the bus drivers are friendly and the buses are usually on schedule. One thing I'd change is the college system. It isolates people. You can meet others through classes and through mutual friends but you usually see the same old people everyday. If I owned the university I would totally remodel and do away with the college system, because honestly i think it is shit. especially because each college has a theme and most people choose the college on superficial things aside from the theme, (which is the most important,) in terms of how the college looks or if they know people there. that kills me! i CAN'T STAND when someone says "I chose college ten because it's the newest and i don't wanna live in old dorms. ewww" My freshman year, the size of the school was just right. Now in my junior year I think it is starting to get out of control. Classes are harder to get into as the ones you want to take are already closed by the time your enrollment appointment comes around. The university wants to accept a bunch of students but then not accommodate them. case in point: we used to have lounges on our res hall floors. now, the lounges are dorm rooms. in the apartments, there used to be four and 5 person apts. now they're doing 5 and 6 person ones..wtf?? plus, there is one small gym for all these kids and EVERYONE goes to the gym. When I tell people I go to UCSC they have one of three responses: "wow, that campus is beatiful!", a blank look on their face and "where is that??" or "yeah, aren't all the kids stoners up there?" people either know a lot about the school or nothing at all. the banana slug mascot is often brought up as well when they hear UCSC. I spend most of my time at my college, because I don't really have other reasons to go anywhere else. my job is at the college as my dorm room is as well. I also go to friend's houses off campus when i'm not in my room doing work. UCSC is a college town. not extreme but it's definitely got that feel to it. because there are more students now they have to compete with residents for housing off campus. residents seem to have a love/hate relationship with the college students. many of them are older so they don't like all the loud parties and stuff. Administration, except for a select few, do not care about the students. the university is a business. they do not support diversity or ethnic minorities. too much emphasis and administration is put towards the sciences and research and not to anyone else. it seems like all they really wanna do is act like they care but really they don't. it's really hard to get things done dealing with administration. when students have a problem they are often given the run around are sent in circles through admin because no one knows how to solve problems. biggest recent controversy was definitely the tree sitters in response to the expansion of the campus. there was a massive protest and a lot of people got in trouble. there was also a controversy about a faculty member being targeted/harrassed at his house for using testing animals or something to that effect. People are proud to say that they have a banana slug mascot because it's random and not intimidating at all and that smoking weed is a normal activity, but due to the fact that we don't have a football or good basketball team people don't have the pride like UCLA students do. UCSC is unusual. drugs are plentiful and it's seen as unusual if you don't smoke/drink heavily/do drugs. we hidden caves, an extremely tall tree called tree nine in the middle of the forest that kids climb. the first rain tradition where when it rains for the first time of the year, kids run around the school naked. The most frequent student complaints are that administration needs to get it together and start thinking about the kids. the whole class enrollment system is shit. needs to be overhauled. we need more than one gym..and we need more space for students to live it. DIVERSITY. provide more/better resources for students of color. a lot of students of color aren't attracted to the school because there's nothing here for them. other schools support their minority populations so much better. this may also be due to the fact that many of the people in higher levels of administration are white.

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If I could change one thing, I would add more of a greek system. Until this year, I was part of the only international sorority on campus. When I wear my letters I can feel people judging me sometimes, and there isnt as much of a social scene because of how much santa cruz disapproves of greeks. Most everyone in the greek system complains about this, and people who aren't in it usually complain that there is not enough of a sports atmosphere, almost no one goes to games and we dont even have a football team. Even though there are almost 20,000 people here, it doesn't seem that big because it is broken up into 10 different colleges so you feel like you belong to a smaller community. There is a pretty good community in the down town area and a lot of student hang out and go to bars down there, but as long as you are living on campus you dont see much of it because its a 20 minute bus ride away. There is always a protest going on, which most of the time is pretty cool because it makes it easy to get involved, but sometimes it is taken too far and can even get violent. Recently we had a bunch of people tree sitting for almost 2 months on science hill and a whole parking lot was blocked off and they ended up blocking off a lot of entrances to buildings, which was pretty inconvenient. But people around here are very passionate about the environment and it shows. Its pretty obvious from our mascot, the banana slug, that we are not the typical college campus. We do still have a lot of the hippie traditions around like drum circles and the annual first rain naked run and a lot of other things that make you say "only in santa cruz". I think one of my most memerable experiences would be on 4-20 where hundreds of students flock to one large field and a huge cloud of pot smoke lingers above for the durration of the day. The amazing part, no cops or campus workers interfere.

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I would have liked it if there wasn't nso much protesting going on. People deciding to skip class in order to make a statement seemed ridiculous to me considering how much we pay for that education. I think some of the students need to focus a lot more on their studies. I liked the size, although it would have been very annoying if there were not buses around all the time to get you to your next class quickly. They ask if I'm a hippie. People are also impressed sometimes (I think its mostly because its a UC). I spent most of my time on campus in class..... Many of the residents don't really like the students...or so it seemed to me. They were annoyed by them. I hated that an A- lowered your GPA a little but then an A+ Didn't raise it!!! I have always thought an A is an A and its not fari that a stupid little minus next to it should lower my GPA!! I was there for the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school years and there were several big controverseys during that time. There was a large protest when the regents came during my first year there, which resulted in students running around screaming "police brutality!!" when they themselves had gotten out of hand. I think the biggest one though was over winter break 2007 (or simetime around then) when people decided go live in the trees on campus to protest a new building that was being planned. Many of those people were not even students at the UC.... totally ridiculous!! (and a little funny) Yes, I'd say there is a lot of school pride even though sports are not a big thing there. The people there are unusual.... The first time I experienced the "first rain" with people running through the campus naked at night in the rain!! That was quite unexpected... Tuition costs are complained about a lot (and the costs of books).

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The best thing about UCSC, is that pretty much anyone can fit in somewhere, whether your a hippie, a loser, a frat boy, a partier, a stoner, a nerd anyone and i mean anyone, except political conservatives can fit in. I would have all the RA's, CSO's and CRE's thrown out on their asses, they're way too strict on campus. It's a little too small, but i wouldn't want it much bigger either. People don't tend to react much at all to the fact that I go to UCSC, some think it's kind of funny that our mascot is a banana slug though. When I'm on campus I like to go out into the woods, just walking to class i go through the forest. It's pretty much the example of a small college town, it only has fifty thousand or so people in Santa Cruz so the university plays a huge role in the town life. I think the administration needs to lighten up a little bit on some thing but generally the administration is invisible to us students. The biggest controversy recently would definitely be the hippies who climbed up in some trees to prevent further construction on campus and protested and stuff, yeah. There's a funny kind of school pride but it's very much there, most people say they love santa cruz, and they think why'd we want to be something as normal and ridiculous as the sea lions or the bruins when we can be the banana slugs, we're actually very proud of what school we go to but we're not big on sports rallies or anything as ridiculous as that. Everything is unusual about UCSC, it's in the middle of a huge enchanted forest for god's sake. I'll always remember when the CSO's came into my dorm room and found over thirty empty handles of hard alcohol stashed all around the room. Frequent student complaint are all about the police and/or the campus security officers, who are all a joke.

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right now, the size of the school is pretty much all right. i'm worried because they have been trying to expand, and the small town of santa cruz can't really handle any more students. the metro buses from downtown are always full by the time they get to the base of campus, if not a mile before then. if i could change anything, it would be the expansion of the campus. the best thing about ucsc is the setting. i love walking to class through the forest and seeing doe and their fawn, though some kid did recently get attacked by a mountain lion at merrill college. my professors are amazing too. the professors in the psychology, politics, and feminist studies departments are my favorite! the most frequent student complaints concern the accessibility of the campus (the lack of parking lots and meters, and the fact that meters are at least 75 cents per half hour.) you absolutely can't drive to campus, and the expansion and surfeit of students riding buses from downtown make driving a serious temptation. i would say there is a lot of school pride, but it's a different kind of school pride than i'd expect students at big private universities with great sports teams to have. i love telling people i go to ucsc. ucsc provides a different kind of education--an education i'd be lost without. lots of people in my conservative hometown think i must be a communist anarchist (which doesn't even make sense) when i tell them i go here, and it's fun to play devil's advocate. i guess that brings me to another complaint a handful of students have--that ucsc is 'too liberal.' i think it's a silly complaint, as most of my professors are relatively unbiased.

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Oh my goodness, the bureaucracy. Seriously, everything administrative about this school is stuck on stupid. My freshman year the city buses went on strike. They keep making the rules more and more strict on campus. The academia is excellent, the students are cool, and it's a beautiful place to go to school, but trying to get a diploma is like wrestling a dragon for 4 years. Currently there are a bunch of tree-sitters protesting the expansion and it caused a lot of drama. The locals hate us a lot: there's a Santa Cruz Party Ordinance which makes it so that noise violations build cumulative fines that stay with the house after you move-so if you move off campus and throw one party at a house that had a lot of fines before, you could be looking at thousands of dollars over one night! This place caters to the college crowd, but it isn't really a normal town. We have amazing places to eat, but no In N Out, no Arby's, no real drive thrus, and most places except for bars, Saturn Cafe, Santa Cruz Diner, and Longs close fairly early. The school is actually getting too large for the town to handle, so there are probably going to be a few years where UCSC is harder to get into because of the limited resources. There's some school pride(we're the Banana Slugs, after all!) but not much in the way of sports or school spirit events. There are a lot of athletic, active people, but most of them are more about fun than representing the college. My experiences here are pretty amazing, and there's so many things I did(most of them I don't actually want published) that you'd have to try yourself, and it's an unforgettable experience.

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UCSC is one of those nearly big UC's that fell like a small town liberal arts school. Minus the small town gossip, minus everyone knowing who you are, where you are from and everything about your daily life and definately minus the harsh presence of the stereotypical "college" environment, such as frats and sororities. For those whom love and live for the outdoors, such as surfing, sailing, biking, hiking and camping it provides a plethora of activities as well as breath taking views and scenery of redwoods and the Monterrey Bay. The most common complaint I hear of UCSC is the lack of appreciation, funding and spotlight given to athletics at UCSC. Athletics is a big thing on most college campuses, and although a lot of students UCSC are in fact athletes, every year more and more athletic programs find themselves being cut or in desperate in need of funding. The second most common complaint that I hear from students is the lack of parties. Although I completely agree with the first complaint, this one is far from the truth. Sure, parties at UCSC may not live up to the college parties portrayed by the media (except for those Bonny Doon parties that I hear of) but good parties are never in short supply here at UCSC. UCSC is a great college to attend, and in my two years at UCSC my experiences completely reinforce my decision to attend one of the UC's that is usually under appreciated and valued by most people.

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I think the best thing about UCSC is that many professors care a great deal about their undergraduate students. I have had talks with several of mine outside of the classroom and they generally the professors have had some really interesting experiences. It is funny when I tell people about UCSC they tend to laugh and ask me if we have had any good protests lately. If I could change one thing it would be how protesters mobilize. They shouldn't march on a daily basis and they should only march on the people who can actually change what they are trying to protest. The protesters also believe that their cause is just, so they violate the law and then get up in arms over police "brutality" when the police start to arrest them. The general atmosphere around protests is the one thing that I really hate about this campus. However, the environment is wonderful and I believe the campus currently holds the right number of students. There is a Long Range Development Plan which wants to increase the size of the school a great deal, but it is still many years away from being implemented. Hopefully it won't destroy the natural beauty of this campus. It has many fantastic mountain bike and hiking trails. Every fall the local AIDS group puts together a great road biking event which winds through Santa Cruz county. This campus puts you in the center of great things and I would strongly recommend coming here.

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I love UCSC. The best thing about it is the community. I feel like I have friends everywhere. Even though this is a incredibly large university, it seems small, like you know more people than you think. Plus, in your major you kinda end up seeing the same people, which makes for a great community. The anthropology community, but the way, is awesome. I love my fellow anthro buddies. I spend most of my time on campus hanging out with friends either in lounges, outside, in the dh or at their place. Santa Cruz town is great, though I wouldn't characterize it as a college town, which fits me better. I never favored a college town environment. The administration is one bureaucratic state. It very rarely listens to the students and sets up bizzare restrictions. Plus, sometimes I feel that it acts too fast and without the best interest of the students at heart. Though, I must say, I do have compassion because it must be hard to be in charge, considering the dynamics of the UC Regents. The biggest recent controversy was the military men coming on during career fair. There is a lot of school pride, but it is very passive. I'll always remember going for hikes and cooking with friends. I'll also always remember our community and the incredible classes I've taken. I love UCSC. There is no other college I would have wanted to go to.

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I, personally, love going to UCSC. Some of the reasons are that it's somewhat isolated but it's still not too tough to get around, and another is because the on-campus environment is so friendly and laid-back. The campus is a little bit big for walking - if you live in Crown and you have a class in Oakes, it'll take between half an hour to an hour to walk there. I think the beauty of the scenery makes up for that, though. And if you're worried about making friends, it's not too tough: Despite the big number of students who attend UCSC, only a portion of them live on-campus; and living in the individual colleges gives a small-campus feel, so it's easier to make friends with those in your immediate area. Admittedly I'm not the most social person - UCSC accommodates for both the social and the anti-social pretty well. It's easy to make friends when you live on-campus. I've definitely run into a few people who have looked surprised or scoffed a bit when I told them I attend UC Santa Cruz. I know UCSC has a bit of a reputation (from before the system began giving letter-grades) of being academically less-than-UC-standard, but I don't think that's so true anymore. There are definitely some great teachers here - as well as some bad ones, but you can't expect a huge school to have 100% fabulous professors.

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